SINGAPORE (Commodity Online) : World oil prices continued its southern journey in Asian trade Tuesday and dropped below $74 a barrel as equity markets slump amid concerns over global economic growth.

Light sweet crude for October delivery was seen trading at $73.98 a barrel at 12.00 noon Singapore time while Brent crude was at $75.97 a barrel on the ICE futures exchange.

Heating oil fell 1.02 cent to $2.015 a gallon and gasoline slid 0.31 cent to $1.931 a gallon during the same period in Nymex trade. Natural gas for October delivery rose 1.3 cents to $3.825 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Analysts said apart from global stocks slump, expectations of higher crude inventories in the US fed fears of a slowdown in global economic growth

Oil traders have been following closely global stock markets as a barometer of overall investor sentiment.

Most major Asia stock markets also fell Tuesday, led by a 2.9 percent plunge in Japan's Nikkei 225 index.

On Monday, prices dropped, ending three straight days of gains as concerns returned over the pace of recovery in US, the world's largest oil consumer.

Light sweet crude for delivery in October, was down 47 cents to $74.70 a barrel, and Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October dipped five cents to $76.60 a barrel.

Friday's reassurances by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke on the US economy failed to stimulate the markets

In Asia, the Singapore Mercantile Exchange will debut with four contracts on Tuesday euro-dollar currency futures, gold, West Texas Intermediate crude oil, and Brent crude priced in euros.